RECENTLY, I had an exchange of e-mails with Lita Cruz, a balikbayan who is the author of two novels, “The Diary of a Teacher” and “Starless Star.” She has also produced an album featuring her own compositions.
Unluckily, her e-mails are an expression of disappointment over her unanswered communications. I told her over a cup of coffee on Sunday that unlike people in her adopted country, which is America, Filipinos in the Philippines rarely respond to letters and e-mails they receive from strangers.
On April 14, Ms. Cruz wrote:
“I am a Fil-American, 73, retiree author/composer based in Renton, Washington, USA. I am spending my vacation here in the Philippines with my two married sons. I have two novels and two CD album published in the United States and I am thinking of offering them to ABS-CBN or GMA.
“I sent them e-mail through their website but unfortunately, none of their staff in charge even replied to my queries.
“I fortunately read your article on the digital newspaper of Manila Times. I thought of sending you this e-mail with the hope that it will reach you and you will have time to reply.
“Thank you and God bless!”
“I do not know how I can help you. I can only publish your letter in my column. Why don’t you send me more info about yourself, say your bio data?
Thank you for reading The Manila Times.
“Perhaps an interview with you can help. Good day and welcome home.”
“Hello Mr. Perez:
“Thank you for your prompt reply. It is the first reply I have ever received in all communications I did in the Philippines.
“I am flattered and honored to be interviewed by a good writer like you. You can call me anytime after 10 a.m.”
In fairness to ABS-CBN and GMA 7, I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. They must have received Ms. Cruz’s e-mails but have yet to pass them to the right people who are tasked to answer communications from the public.
My suggestion is for Ms. Cruz to exercise more patience and wait for the people of the two TV and radio networks to realize that the public who patronize them have brought them where they are now.
By the way, being listed, ABS-CBN and GMA 7 shares are openly traded on the Philippine Stock Exchange.
It is better to illustrate why even private companies should answer communications from the public. If these are sent via e-mails, they can easily e-mail back even if their answers might be in the form of “rejection slips.”
I used to own a baseball which I recently gave to a media colleague. It had a number of signatures on it, one of which was that of Johnny Bench. I googled the name and found out that he is “an American former catcher who played Major Leagues for the Cincinnati Reds from 1967 to 1983 and is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame,” according to Wikipedia.
The next question that I asked myself was how I could have the signatures authenticated. To solve the mystery over the names, I again googled for information and found one. I e-mailed Johnny Bench Enterprises on Dec. 12, 2014 the following:
“I have a Rawlings baseball with three signatures in it one of them appear to be that of Mr. Johnny Bench. How can I have these signatures authenticated?”
I was not expecting a prompt reply, which came and even arrived on the same date, the Philippines, being ahead US by one day:
“We do not have qualification to authenticate signatures that we did not witness. You must go through a licensed authentication service.”
How nice of Johnny Bench Enterprises to have acknowledged receipt of my letter!
Many years ago when I was in my early years as a proofreader of the now-defunct The Manila Chronicle, I wrote via airmail – there was no e-mail yet – two schools in the US. If I recall correctly, one was Michigan Institute of Technology and the other was Michigan Technological University.
In my letter, I asked if it was possible for a Filipino student to avail himself a scholarship or to support himself thru college by being a working student.
Although the two schools did not have any kind of scholarship to offer a foreigner, they gave me importance by responding to my letters.
I decided to include in this piece my own experiences in writing letters years ago and in using the e-mails today because I am into communications thru the media. I owe the readers of The Manila Times where I am today even if sometimes some of them disagree with my topics in Duediligencer.
Having grown up with ordinary and airmail letters, At 69, I am lucky to be using e-mails today, which is the faster way of communications that have killed messaging thru telegrams.
If e-mails had replaced the telegrams, what would be men’s next mode of communications that would be much faster than e-mails?